Kindness is to do and say, the kindest thing in the kindest way.This is something my grandfather was known to say.  I have this posted on my kitchen cupboard, because I think it’s important to have this attitude as you go about your day, and I want the rest of my family to think about this.

Kindness can encompass a whole slew of different things.  It can be helping others who are less fortunate, helping people you interact with throughout the day, being considerate, being generous, or just wearing a smile and being pleasant.  It can also mean complimenting people and doing other things that you know will make them feel good, big or small, like surprising them with a phone call or gift or doing them a big favor.  Kindness can come in the form of remembering your manners, holding a door open for someone, allowing another driver to go ahead of you, or allowing other people to go first or have the last one of something that you might have wanted to have, too.

One of my favorite ways to be kind is to give someone a hug if it looks like they could use one and even offer to lend an ear if that would help.  I love when my kids give me random hugs or out of the blue just tell me they love me.  Sometimes the smallest gesture of kindness can make the biggest difference in someone’s day.  And not only will it make the other person feel good, but being kind actually releases endorphins and hormones such as serotonin and oxytocin, all of which have both physical and mental health benefits for the person being kind, such as helping that person feel happy and less stressed and lowering his or her blood pressure.

Being kind is one of those things that seems to come much more naturally to some people than others, but a lot of that may be because they were taught by example.  I don’t consciously think about how many ways I am going to try to be kind to someone in any given day.  It’s just second nature at this point.  Granted, there are times when I am irritated or frustrated and I am not so kind, but I rarely have a day where I can’t reflect and think about something I did that was kind, sometimes many things.  If you consciously think about it, you can get to the point where you don’t have to.  What did you do today that was kind?

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